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Elon Musk kills plan for Tesla Model 3 air suspension for now

Elon Musk previously announced that Tesla would build an air suspension option for Model 3, but the CEO now says that it’s not in the plans any longer.

For Model S and Model X, Tesla developed a “Smart Air Suspension” option, which eventually became standard.

The automaker describes the feature:

Add the ability for your Tesla to adjust vehicle height for better handling, efficiency, and ride comfort. Using the touchscreen, you can raise or lower your vehicle when entering a steep driveway, navigating snow, or unloading passengers and belongings. Using GPS location detection, your Tesla will remember and reapply settings automatically.

When launching the Model 3 in 2017, CEO Elon Musk said that the new suspension would launch six months later with the dual motor version of the car.

But at the time, Tesla ran into a lot of problems ramping up Model 3 production, and a lot of versions of the car were delayed.

The dual motor version didn’t launch until almost a year later, and it didn’t come with air suspension, though Tesla was working on the feature.

In 2018, a Tesla Model 3 with dual motor and air suspension was spotted on a racetrack during testing, but nothing came out of it.

This weekend, Musk confirmed that an air suspension wasn’t in the plans for Model 3 anymore:

While Model 3 never got air suspension, Tesla released a lowered suspension kit for the vehicle when they released the Performance version last year.

Electrek’s Take

I believe this is a way for Tesla to keep some differentiating features between the flagship Model S and Model X versus the less expensive Model 3.

There are disadvantages to an air suspension. For example, there are more moving parts and therefore, more chances for something to break, and if something does break, it’s going to be more expensive to fix.

However, it could be very useful for aerodynamic performance to lower the car at higher speeds, and it could also protect the car by rising the suspension on dirt roads and such.

I am sure that there would be many buyers willing to pay ~$2,000 more for the feature on Model 3, but it looks like Tesla is prioritizing streamlining production by reducing the number of options on the car.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

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